To please an otome’s heart by playing off the appeal of the idea of being surrounded and pursued by gorgeous males—that is the importance of otome anime. For some, otome anime is a serious hobby, while for some others, it’s simply another fun genre. The number of anime that are adapted from otome games have been rising in the past five years, and we usually get at least one in every season. Some of them exploded in their popularity, and some of them has a moderate but pretty loyal fanbase.
Here we have built up a list top ten otome anime! It’s not only for otome anime that were adapted from otome games; we’ll be taking you to take a look at some anime nestling under the bigger umbrella of shoujo and reverse-harem as well, in which they also have otome games in the franchise. Keep an eye out for your favorite!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2013-March 2013
An anime adaptation from an otome game with the same title, Amnesia is a story of how a young girl woke up with all her memories gone. Not even the audience knows the Heroine’s name, as the girl proceeds to meet a boy named Orion and begin her struggle to try and make sense of her identity, her boyfriend that she doesn’t remember, her life, her relationships—and did we mention a boyfriend? Following the story of the original game quite closely, Brain Base brought Amnesia anime out in Winter 2013, animating pretty much all possible routes in the game.
Amnesia’s initial interesting premise and its gorgeous artwork drew quite a fanbase around it—other than an anime, the franchise also has a manga adaptation called Amnesia Later and Amnesia Joker. Those who didn’t play the game might have trouble in following the anime, especially with the many time jumps. The anime is clearly primarily meant for those who have enjoyed the game and loved the characters. Don’t let it stop you from trying it out—it’s got cool music, really interesting character designs, and top-tier seiyuus such as Ishida Akira, Hino Satoshi, and Kakihara Tetsuya.
9. Kamigami no Asobi – Ludere deorum –
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 20143-June 2014
How would it feel to be surrounded by gods, receiving both their attention and their affection? Kamigami no Asobi brought it into a new level as the heroine, Kusanagi Yui, was ‘abducted’ by none other than Zeus to teach the young gods he had assembled in his ‘school’ about being human. Which is good and all, considering the good-looking gods that surrounded her, except Yui was given only a year to finish her task, or she’d be stuck in that world forever. And so Yui began her life in the school, facing gods from different mythology starting from Greek to Japanese and Norn, and even Egyptian.
Adapted from an otome game by Broccoli (who is famous for bringing the Uta no Prince-sama games), Kamigami no Asobi aired in 2014, animated by Brain’s Base with stunningly colorful animation and really good character designs and literal costume porn. Part of its main appeal is its seiyuu line up—not only the six main eligible gods are voiced by top-tier seiyuu, but all of the cast! You’ll get to hear not only Irino Miyu, Ono Daisuke, Hiroshi Kamiya, Hosoya Yoshimasa, Kaji Yuuki, and Morikawa Toshiyuki! The game itself is also getting a new installment: Kamigami no Asobi InFinite, which will be released on the 21st of April for PSP and PSVita platform.
8. Norn9: Norn+Nonet
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2016-March 2016
Norn9: Norn+Nonet is an anime adapted from an otome game that would be quite enjoyable for everyone to watch. The setting is more a scii fantasy—the mysterious ship Norn9, which only has teenagers with special abilities aboard, including three teenage girls and nine guys. In the game, the player was given the choice to choose one of the girls to play, and would consequently have three of the guys (depending on your choice) to chase after, but the anime focuses more on Koharu. Kinema Citrus brought out the anime adaptations with, frankly, really great and consistent art, and that is one of the main plus points of the anime.
As Norn9 had just finished airing last season, if you’re interested in it you really should see for yourself, as it does have an interesting mix of otome elements and sci-fi fantasy genre. The other appeal of Norn9 is the absolutely gorgeous soundtrack and its solid seiyuu line-up. We get Ono Daisuke, Kaji Yuuki, and Shimono Hiro for the guys. For the girls, we have Takagaki Ayahi, Saiga Mitsuki and Yanagi Nagi!
7. Diabolik Lovers
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: September 2013-December 2013
Originally a visual novel franchise released by the famous Rejet, Diabolik Lovers’ anime adaptation was a very much-awaited one by its fans. It tells the story of the six Sakamaki brothers—all of whom are vampires—and the heroine, Koumori Yui, who was sent by her father to live with the brothers as a ‘sacrificial bride’. The anime has its sequel, Diabolik Lovers More Blood, which still centers around Yui’s life with the Sakamaki brothers, but also brought in the new vampire clan, and there are already plans for another cour, it seems.
Zexcs is the studio in charge of Diabolik Lovers’ anime adaptation, and while a number of fans might prefer the game artwork, the anime is pretty good, too. The main appeal of Diabolik Lovers, other than the attractive character design, is the seiyuu line up that gets even better with the sequel. After all, it was adapted from a visual novel otome game that was also popular for its drama CD series before the anime even started. But with the addition of Morikubo Showtarou appearing in the anime series, it gives another new anticipation for the next cour.
6. Starry Sky
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: December 2010-June 2011
The concept of Starry Sky, much like the title itself, is that the thirteen guys that surrounded Yahisa Tsukiko are all personification of zodiacs. The previously all-boys school academy she enrolled to has just changed recently to a co-ed school, but since the area was quite rural, Tsukiko is the only female student in the school. The anime took an interesting way to adapt the game—each episode was only 11 minutes long, and each of the main guy gets two episodes focusing on them and their background stories. All in all, it’s a very slice of life anime adaptation.
The original game, released by Honeybee, had four different installments with each game representing a season and focusing on three eligible bachelors. Studio Deen handled the anime adaptation for Starry Sky, and again, while a number of people would like the game artwork more, the anime artwork is pretty good, and the soundtrack is heavenly. Starry Sky is also probably that one otome game and anime with the best seiyuu line up, with both big names in mainstream game/anime genre and big names in otome genre itself. Orikasa Fumiko takes the role of the heroine, and among the male seiyuus for the zodiac guys are Midorikawa Hikaru, Yusa Kouji, Miyano Mamoru, and Suzumura Kenichi.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2010-June 2010
Time to take a look at an older series! Hakuouki is set in the Bakufu era, and centered around Yukimura Chizuru, a daughter of a doctor who had embarked on a journey to Kyoto to find her father, only to find herself getting mixed up in Shinsengumi’s business as they realized that Chizuru’s father is the man the Shinsengumi have been looking for. Chizuru ends up joining Shinsengumi to continue look for her father, and the plot unveils as they discovered what dark secret Chizuru’s father has been involved in.
The Hakuouki franchise is one of the long-standing otome franchise—the game it’s based on began in 2008 and still has sequels coming out (the last one was in 2015). Since then, Hakuouki has had three anime seasons by Studio Deen, two manga adaptation, and two movies. The newest installment of the franchise, Hakuouki ~Otogisoushi~ which is anime shorts of the chibi versions of Hakuouki characters, is currently airing. Those who love the more veteran seiyuus would be spoiled in this long-standing franchise—you’ll get Kuwashima Houko, Miki Shinichirou, Ookawa Tohru, Toriumi Kousuke and Yoshino Hiroyuki in one package!
4. Harukanaru Toki no Naka de ~hachiyou shou~
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2004-March 2005
Yes, a much much older series: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de’s romantic adventure video game was first released in the year of 2000, for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 platform. It had seven installments, and since then, had received at least 2 different manga adaptation, an anime adaptation and nearly countless OVA adaptations. The story is set in an alternate world resembling Kyoto during Heian period called Kyou, and revolved around Motomiya Akane who was sucked into the world along with her classmates Morimura Tenma and Nagareyama Shimon, and was later told that she was the Miko destined to save Kyou from the Oni clan by helping the Hachiyou, which are eight gorgeous, single men that somehow includes both of her classmates.
The anime itself aired in Fall 2004 with 26 episodes, not counting the many OVAs released for the franchise. The heroine Akane was voiced by the late Kawakami Tomoko, and among the cast for the Hachiyou are Seki Tomokazu, Miyata Kouki, Hoshi Souichirou and Inoue Kazuhiko. As it is based on a romantic adventure video game instead of the now much more common visual novels, trying to get into this series is quite refreshing, since it does have a pretty solid plot and characters.
3. Kiniro no Corda: Primo Passo (La Corda d’Oro ~Primo Passo~)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2006-March 2007
So what is it about? Kiniro no Corda is a series that takes classical music as its core concept. Hino Kahoko, who is enrolled in a school divided into two branches—the Normal Branch and the Music Branch—encountered a fairy named Lili, who granted her a magic violin which anyone could play as long as they believe they could play it. With that, Kahoko entered the Music Branch and joined the school’s music competition, facing the five guys she’d later get closer with.
Based on an otome game by Koei, Kiniro no Corda’s visual novel game was first released in 2003, and has since had seven installments, three anime adaptations, and two manga adaptations. A 2-episode anime special as a sequel for Kiniro no Corda: Primo Passo was aired in 2009 to promote the new games, but the most well-known anime adaptation was still Primo Passo, garnering quite a fandom in its golden days back then. The animation quality for Primo Passo was perhaps not the best, but it didn’t affect the enjoyment of watching it either, and you’ll get to hear the more veteran seiyuu such as Kishio Daisuke, Morita Masakazu, Taniyama Kishou and Itou Kentarou!
2. Uta no Prince-sama
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2011-September 2011
Uta no Prince-sama, fondly shortened as UtaPri, revolves around the life of Nanami Haruka, a talented songwriter who graduated from the Saotome Academy and is now working as both ST*RISH and Quartet Night’s songwriter. In the anime, she’s quite oblivious to the romantic feelings the boys hold for her, but it doesn’t make the anime less fun—if anything, it added to the humor. As a franchise, UtaPri has more than the anime up their sleeves—the franchise now included both visual novel and rhythm games, as well as a series of Shining Theatre CDs and of course, the Maji Love Live concerts.
Still one of the otome anime with the biggest fandom and enthusiasm, Uta no Prince-sama had recently announced the title for its fourth anime season: Uta no Prince-Sama: Maji Love Legend Star. It would continue where it left off in the third season, after the comeback of HEA*VENS, but still revolving around Nanami Haruka and the songs she writes for her boys. Now, including Quartet Night, there are with three major idol groups in the franchise, and the anticipation of what kind of story the fourth season will come up with is pretty high in the air.
1. Ouran Koukou Host-bu (Ouran High School Host Club)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2006-September 2006
Adapted from a manga with the same title, Ouran told the story of Fujioka Haruhi, a ‘commoner’ who attended the prestigious Ouran Academy and accidentally involved herself with the Ouran Academy Host Club after breaking an 8 million yen antique vase and indebting herself. Suoh Tamaki recruited Haruhi to work in the Host Club to pay her debts, and Haruhi’s rather insane days with the Host Club began. It is only later that Tamaki realizes that Haruhi is a girl!
A lot of people considered Ouran as one of the best anime they have seen in their lives. It’s really not too much of an exaggeration; Ouran has a solid plot, really interesting characters with established background stories, and most importantly, it balanced drama and humor very well and it’s absolutely fun! Out of all this list, Ouran is the only one that was not adapted from an otome game—however an otome game adaptation by Idea Factory has been released where you could play as Haruhi, as well as including several game-only original characters, and the Nintendo DS version of the game was fully-voiced, too!
Not all female audience might be interested in otome anime, but for those who do, and for those who really are into otome games, the otome anime adaptations have always been something fun to look forward to. Which route would the anime follow, or what kind of compromises it would make in order to let a wider audience that are outside of their game audience enjoy it? Most importantly, otome anime adaptations usually brings in new fans who haven’t played the games, and that’s always a good thing, isn’t it?
Let us know if you have your own favorite otome anime titles, or if you agree with our list!